The right balance in your workout routine: when more is less

Don’t we all understand when you “finally make the decision, you are totally committed to changing your lifestyle because you want to be healthy, strong, fit, and have an attractive body”. Or you “want to be an example for your family and friends or another positive motivation that drives you to that change”.

Your plan of attack is very full-on: 

  • You signed up in the gym for a 4 x per week HIIT class,  
  • you play social tennis with your friends once a week and 
  • you just joined the new running Meetup group for the weekends. 

You think… that’ll be a walk in the park. I should see results in 2 weeks! I’ll look like a chiseled All Black rugby player. 😉

Instead you find yourself tired, sore and sleepy after a couple of weeks. You start to lose the motivation you had, because two weeks is not enough time to see results so you feel like giving up. 

There might be a simple explanation for this: you are overtrained

Other common signs of overtraining are:

  • Reduced performance in your workouts
  • Your cortisol (stress hormone) levels are higher which could cause:
  •  Sleeping disturbances, 
  • Changes in mood 
  • Irritability. 
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of concentration when working
  • Laziness
  • Lack of appetite

The good news is that it is usually easy to fix: You just need to know a little bit of Biology and allow yourself some rest. 

The triad of health

Being healthy and fit comes from the right balance between three key factors: training, nutrition and recovery.  Most people know about the importance of the first two, but they underestimate how important proper recovery and sleep are. 

Why is that? A workout is a physiological stress for your body. As any other stressing factor it can create benefits when applied in the proper dose. This phenomenon is called in Biology Hormesis. 

If you follow a routine like the one described initially, you are creating an excess of stress that your body can’t cope with.  Hence, it is crucial to find the right balance between your training and your rest. 

Rest implies active recovery and a proper sleep. 

When you sleep, you are allowing your body to repair the muscles that were damaged during your training, replenish your glycogen reserves and other physiological processes. So give yourself at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Have an overall fitness opposed to a rigid routine

Most of us are not professional athletes and our main goal is to be healthy and fit. If that runs true for you, you don’t need to train every day. Easy as that!

It is recommended to train different fitness components like your strength, flexibility, cardiovascular capacity or muscular endurance in a healthy mix combined with rest & recovery.

A good example of balanced weekly routine could be: 

  • Mon: EMS Full body strength session  
  • Tues: Cycling (active recovery and cardio)
  • Wed: No workout
  • Thu: EMS FB + metabolic session
  • Fri: Walking (active recovery and cardio)
  • Sat: Yoga session (flexibility and balance)
  • Sun: No workout

This is just an example. It is important that you try to find what you enjoy the most, as consistency is the key. Think about what you do in regards to workouts and how you can spread it optimally across the week.

And keep in mind, everyone is different and the above is meant as a general guideline. Sometimes, more is less.


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Disclaimer: All content and media on the fu/nis EMS training website is created and published online for informational and inspirational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.